Chinese Literature

The Chinese literature is a good example of ancient human wisdom because it was written in one single language without any alterations or changes. In fact, China is the only nation that has been having the same writing system for almost 3,000 years. The singular characters, graphics and signs that they employ in its writing make a big difference when compared with other western languages and countries.

Each Chinese character or graphic means a different thought or idea and everybody in China can understand every single character in spite of what local dialects people use. The development of the Chinese writing language during past centuries has relevant effects nowadays.

In the western world a piece of Chinese literature is really appealing. That is why the Chinese literature is highly respected and considered as one of the most complex and interesting literatures in the world.

Taking into that nothing is perfect, the Chinese language has a large number of characters which for some, it is a disadvantage. In order to read and write a normal standard Chinese mandarin, a person has to know at least more than 1,000 graphics or characters. Nevertheless, that disadvantage has been an effective factor in maintaining and shaping the language. The Chinese language has avoided doing drastic changes as opposed to several romance languages in Europe.

The literature in China has a huge historical background and a rich tradition like the visual arts. The first writings of the millenary Chinese literature derived from the idealistic and spiritual essays of the wise and worldwide recognized Chinese philosophers Confucius (551-479 BC) and Lao-tzu (4th century BC.)

The essays talked about how the society should be prepared for new challenges that could rise in the future. Since the discovery of these essays the Chinese literature has evolved drastically and many writers appeared in the literary scene and began to write about religion, history, philosophy, poetry, novels and dramatic writings.

For example, during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), there was a brilliant writer of poetry called Li Po. Many historians believe that the poetry was consolidated and became popular in this period. Essentially, the Chinese poetry talks about the strong relationship of human beings with the nature environment.

Even also Drama was another old but significant literary form. This type of literary form combines the local language with audiovisual elements such as Chinese songs and vernacular music. Currently, China has developed this artistic expression and a big variety of themes are performed in the famous Peking Opera.

People in China love buying books as a cultural tradition. There are an incalculable number of Chinese books: adventure, history and science-fiction books are the most popular ones. There is a classic adaptation of the Water Margin (Shui-hu-chuan) and the Romance of the three Kingdoms that people can find in any Chinese library. The love stories are other interesting way to see the world in China because it is a mixture of tragedy, eroticism and happy endings. The most popular Chinese writer now is Lu Xun and the most famous novel is The Dream of the Red Chamber.

In these modern times, the Chinese literature is focused on enlarging the culture to future generations.

Chinese Poetry

The poetry is the most favorite literary genre in China because of its extraordinary elements. In fact, the Chinese poetry is quite popular since the ancient Han dynasty. The Chinese poetry is separated into several subgenres that combine perfectly with the big variety of new and old poems. As an example of the subgenres that belong to the Chinese poetry we can mention the qu () and ci (詞 / 词). The majority of Chinese poems have a perfect rhyme. However, there is type of prose-poem named fu (賦 / 赋). Nowadays the Chinese poetry uses western elements to its structure.
Bai Juyi is considered as the most representative poetry writer in China during the Mid-Tang period; even also the writer is very recognized for elaborating verses in a simple language. Here is a list of the most representative poems of Bai Juyi.

  • (宫词) Song of the palace.
  • (钱唐湖春行) A visit to Qiantang Lake in spring.
  • (读老子) Reading Laozi.
  • (暮江吟) Song of sunset on the river.
  • (池上) On the lake (1).
  • (池上) On the lake (2).